The Beat Manila’s Up-and-Coming Artist: BL Actor and Singer Ali King
September 22, 2023
The Beat Manila’s Up and Coming is a bi-weekly series where we feature rising talented artists from the Philippines, giving them a platform to share what they’re passionate about and promote the music they (and us too!) would love for the world to hear. Do you want or know someone who wants to be featured? Email us at [email protected] or slide through our DMs on Facebook or Instagram!
Ali King has been booked and busy ever since his breakthrough role as Key Kalungsod in the popular Boys Love (BL) series “Boys Lockdown.” He has been making appearances on various TV programs, collaborating with brands as a social media influencer, and producing play-worthy videos about his expertise in the perfume department on TikTok, where he recently reached a whopping 100,000 followers.
To further solidify his presence in the entertainment industry, the 27-year-old artist released a new single called “Better Days,” which is a revamped version of a song he put out during the height of the pandemic.
Speaking to The Beat Asia, Ali opens up about his life as a singer-actor, his admiration for Taylor Swift and Reese Lansangan, and the story behind “Better Days.”
Hi Ali! Can you tell us how you got into music? How was creating your first song like?
When I was in high school in 2012, I noticed a Yamaha guitar sitting on top of a blue bookshelf during recess. Since no one was using it, I decided to pick it up and learn some guitar chords. I had a classmate who had a booklet with lots of songs and chords to follow, which helped me in my journey of learning how to play the guitar.
Since then, I have been passionate about writing songs. I draw inspiration from my experiences, the people I meet, and everything around me. Most of my songs are about people, my emotions, and my stories. I find it fascinating to be able to express my thoughts and feelings through music, and I hope that my songs can connect with others who can relate to the same experiences.
Can you tell us about your latest project 'Better Days'? How is it different from the version you released before?
The 2020 version of “Better Days” with Vince Lim was a more stripped-down rendition of the song. It’s one of my favorite songs that I wrote on the guitar. I knew, while composing it, that it would be a juxtaposition of loud synth with lyrics that were subtly sad, expressing a wish for someone and drawing a comparison to the narrative of Marius and Eponine from a play that the person adored.
You’ve starred in a Boys Love (BL) series in 2020. What commonalities between acting and singing do you enjoy and appreciate?
I guess both singing and acting involve storytelling, which is something that I really appreciate. Through my songs, I can express myself and be vulnerable without explicitly stating who the song is for, and I love how others can relate to the words and incorporate them into their own lives. Regarding acting, I’ve only had one major experience, but playing the role of Key in a BL series gave me a new perspective on how stories are created and how others can make them their own.
Who are the artists or singers you look up to and why?
I looooove Taylor Swift. My one and only.
What achievement/s are you most proud of since getting into the entertainment industry?
One of my proudest achievements since entering the entertainment industry is being able to share my songs on Spotify. I used to dream about having my songs produced, and now I’m still in disbelief that I’m currently promoting a song that I never thought could be produced, not once, but twice. It’s an amazing feeling to see my music being appreciated by others, and I feel incredibly grateful for the opportunity to share my passion with everyone.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing music?
If someone wants to start writing music, my advice would be to be as vulnerable as possible. Personally, I think of my songs as journal entries, and I aim to make them as vivid and descriptive as possible. I believe that being authentic and expressing yourself through your music can be a powerful way to connect with others. So, don’t be afraid to share your emotions and experiences through your music, and remember that others may appreciate that vulnerability too!
If given the opportunity to collaborate with or open a show for a specific artist (local or international), who would it be and why?
If given the opportunity to collaborate with or open a show for a specific artist, I would love to work with Reese Lansangan. I absolutely adore her music, and her songs make me feel giddy and happy. In a way, her songwriting style reminds me of Taylor Swift’s, where it’s simple but colorful. I feel like collaborating with her or opening a show for her would be an incredible experience.
What’s next for Ali? Is there anything that you’d like to promote?
Right now, I’m focused on doing my own thing and promoting my latest single “Better Days.” This is my first independent project, and I’ve invested a lot of time and effort into it. I’m really excited for others to hear the song, and I hope they enjoy it as much as I loved creating it.
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